Heat and cold treatments can help with mild to moderate pain from cancer. But talk to your doctor before trying either of these during chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
Heat may relieve sore muscles. Use a heating pad, a gel pack, or a hot-water bottle. Or you can take a hot bath or shower. Apply heat for no longer than 10 minutes at a time. To avoid burning your skin, do not apply anything that is uncomfortably warm.
Cold may ease pain by numbing pain sensations. Use a gel pack that stays soft even when frozen, or a bag of frozen peas, or ice cubes wrapped in a towel. Apply for no longer than 10 minutes at a time. And don't keep a cold pack on for so long that you are shivering or that the cold causes more pain.
When using heat or cold treatment:
After a heat or cold treatment, try some gentle massage for relaxation and pain relief.
Current as ofDecember 19, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Jimmy Ruiz, MD - Medical Oncology, Hematology
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